NEWARK, NJ - The Essex County Prosecutor's Office along with Newark Police Director Eugene Venable and West Orange Chief of Police James P. Abbott announced at a 3 p.m. press conference today that Ali Muhammed Brown, arrested in West Orange on July 18 and wanted in the slayings of two youths in Seattle, Washington, has been charged in the murder of Brendan Tevlin, 19, of Livingston. Eric Williams and Jeremy Villagran were charged with felony murder in the death of Tevlin. Williams and Villagran were also charged with 1st Degree Robbery, 2nd Degree Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, 2nd Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, and 2nd Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon.
Brown, a registered sex offender, was charged with 1st Degree Murder of Tevlin, Felony Murder, 1st Degree Robbery, 2nd Degree Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, 2nd Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and 2nd Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon. Villagran, 19, who lives at 275 Northfield Avenue in the Ron Jolyn Apartments in West Orange where Tevlin's vehicle and body were found, was arrested on charges related to an armed robbery in East Orange on July 10. He was booked and detained on multiple counts including weapons charges. Williams, 18, is also a West Orange resident and was arrested in West Orange at 21 Perkins Drive earlier this morning.
Brown was linked to the crime when it was learned that the weapon used to kill Tevlin is the same weapon used in two murders in Seattle, Washington. Brown was also charged in a June 29 robbery and attempted carjacking in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. On July 18, members of the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Homicide and Major Crimes Task Force and the West Orange Police Department canvassed a wooded area in the Township and found Brown living in a makeshift camp area. He was subsequently taken into custody.
An arrest was also announced in the unrelated execution-style slaying of Cheyanne Bond, 17, of Irvington, who was killed in Newark on June 30. Her 17-year-old male friend survived the shooting. The perky cheerleader had just graduated from high school a week before and was heading to college in September. Andre Fields, 31, of Irvington, has been arrested and charged with 1st degree murder in the death of Bond. He was also charged with felony murder, robbery, conspiracy, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a weapon. Robbery appears to be the motive in the murder.
All four men are being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark. Bail has been set for Brown at $5 million and for Williams and Villagran at $1 million. All four are scheduled to make their first court appearance on Wednesday.
Editor's Note: These are allegations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.